“Transformation Beijing”

“Transformation Beijing” – From an Imperial Past to Symbols of Modern China

Transformation_beijingDid you know that the Tiananmen Gate was completely torn down in 1969? That the Qianmen Gate was designed by a German architect? Or that Beijing's old train station mysteriously changed its location southwards? "Transformation Beijing" is the story of three of Beijing's most iconic buildings. Tiananmen - the old gate where laws used to be declared to the people, the old Beijing train station - built to give foreigners a chance to escape Chinese retaliation, and Qianmen - the first entrance to the inner city. All of these buildings have long lost their original purpose. But they have also attained new meaning in "New China", to an extent where it would be nearly impossible to imagine the centre of the capital without them.

Told through a unique collection of black and white photos, "Transformation Beijing" explains how the significance of the Tiananmen Gate was changed the minute Mao Zedong announced the foundation of New China, how the Qianmen Gate became a symbol of Yuan Shikai's vision of a modern Beijing, and how a colonial style train station became a building of historical significance in New China.

Based on research and interviews

Talk by Lars Ulrik Thom or Simon Rom Gjeroe